Packed up and ready to hit the road!
Bye bye P Guesthouse! See you again soon!
Meeting the rest of the group, ready to leave Sangkhlaburi!
Today’s route, as recorded on my GPS, along with the GPX track should anyone want to try this ride (though it’s NOT recommended to venture in here without a guide!)
Welcome to the jungle!!!
Our merry band consists of Bank on the KTM450, Kae on KLX 150, Rezabong on CRF250L, Satonic and Tony on KLX250 and our guide Jack on an old 200cc Yamaha 2-stroke.
We’re riding in the Tung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Preserve which is generally off limits to motor vehicles and for which you are supposed to have a permit to enter. This is where having Jack, aka “Muddy Rider” as our guide is invaluable. He knows how to get in and out without having problems with the rangers. He also knows where all the best trails are, where to find food and fuel and he’s a pretty awesome jungle mechanic.
Reza- a crazy cat from Pattaya, being an Islamiac he doesn’t drink, but apparently the prophet didn’t say anything about weed? LMAO!
Quickly we are into some awesome terrain!
During the rainy season the villages along this road are pretty much cut off. Even now in the dry season it’s a challenging road.
Satonic the city boy, jumping right in to the deep end!!
Here comes Kae! This cat was funny as hell. Super chill, doesn’t talk much, riding in HORSE boots, zero armor and even forgot goggles / glasses, but always powering through and he’s the only guy I never saw crash- Respect!
Trying to keep your feet dry here is a bit pointless, but, oh well
Jungle Jack on his “digital” Yammie smoker- Power ON, or off, nothing much in between, which can be a real challenge on some of these trails!
I don’t care how hung over you are- get up you little girl!
^ Was here that Satonic burst his wine bottle.
Can’t let that go to waste!!!
Drinking wine in 40 degree heat… Hmmm…
Bottoms up Kae!
We stopped in the Karen village of Tilaipa for drinks, fuel and some food- nice spot!
This awesome old Karen dude was chewing on betel nuts and smoking lord knows what and was obviously feeling no pain!
I like him even better in B&W!
They were selling fuel out of bottles, and as Satonic mentioned, some of them had a lot of crap in the bottom of the bottles. Satonic filtered his gas through his shirt… Good thing no one was smoking!
Off we go! Great trails and lots of water crossings. Got a sequence of Satonic crossing this one:
Deeper than it looks!
He made it!
I worried for a sec that Satonic had broken his leg here…
We’d been chasing Jack through this bamboo forest and the trail was covered in dry bamboo leaves that were incredibly slippery and hid all the ruts and obstacles. Satonic went down HARD and I could tell he was in a lot of pain. But he sucked it up, straightened out his bent shift peddle and got back on the bike- respect!
A brief stop at one of the “friendly” checkpoints in the Tung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Preserve-
This innocuous looking water crossing is one of the trickiest of the whole ride. I remember it from last year-
^ Here it claimed the KTM…
More prudent riders walked across…
Slippery as hell and a huge hole in the middle-
I was happy to have put on a fresh knobblie the night before- makes all the difference in spots like this.
Satonic made it through!
Had to pull the air filter and drain the water out of the KTM-
Rezabong, typical stoner, friendly and a bit useless
It was getting late and we were beat! Jack brought us to a new camp he’d built- nice!
Day one is complete! Thanks Jack!!!
Jack is the real deal, he can make just about anything from the jungle-
Here he’s building a campfire tripod out of bamboo which he’ll use to cook our dinner-
Damn nice campground, with a small river running right behind-
Dinner is served!
Chicken, beef, pork, curry and soup- wow we ate like kings and enjoyed some whiskey and herb before Jack surprised the hell out of us when he pulled out his phone and played the new Jackass movie on a “screen” he’d rigged up on the ceiling of the sala-
It was while getting down off the sala barefoot to retire to my hammock that I nearly stepped on one of these beasties-
(not my pic!)
Thai’s call them “Takap” and they have a nasty bite! It scurried into a hole and that’s where we discovered all these other critters- a big black spider, and a couple of tiny little frogs-
Well, I zipped up the fly on my hammock and made damn sure to check the ground before I stepped out again! Good night!